We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FBI really doesn’t want anyone to know about “stingray” use by local cops

Click here to access article by Cyrus Farivar from Ars Technica.

While this article is excellent in bringing this media-obscured issue to our consciousness, it doesn't really examine the important implications for activists that wish to use their limited First Amendment rights to protest, and to engage in political organizing against government actions. I continue to be amazed at the extent of people's naivete regarding government agencies surveillance of citizens and their extensive efforts to coverup such activities. This seems to be especially true of "techno-geeks" like the people who work at Ars Technica. The author seems to be puzzled over the fact that the FBI is opposing any attempts to reveal this type of intrusive surveillance. However, once we learn that the company is owned by Condé Nast, a media corporation serving the One Percent, this is no longer surprising.
If you’ve ever filed a public records request with your local police department to learn more about how cell-site simulators are used in your community—chances are good that the FBI knows about it. And the FBI will attempt to “prevent disclosure” of such information.

Not only can these devices, commonly known as "stingrays," be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages,